Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Gerard Koopman Marathon Special - 1ST CHAPTER FREE

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Marathon racing is for me an extra dimension in my sports experience

I feel I have more respect for marathon pigeons.

Even when the prizes are earned.

More than on any other disciplines.

Even the last pigeon that arrives.

Is also welcomed as a real sports hero.

Will Geudens called me once and said:

You are always searching for special birds.

Also for the marathon

Here in the neighboorhood a special pigeon flies at Jan Bullens.

It won 2nd in the sector again last Saturday.

It won 1st and 2 x 2nd in NPO-competiton on three different races from Bergerac.

In three years time.

With head- and tailwinds.

An all-round pigeon with striking performances.

That was a good tip.

We went there and bought the pigeon.

And afterwards it was a bullseye.

Not every youngster of course.

But he gave several good and above average youngsters.

He is our basic breeder.

I can remember, maybe it was 30 years ago.

I bought some pigeons from Raymond Cobut a Belgian fancier from Anderlues.

I tried to race on the marathon a few years

But I had to do everything alone it was too much for me to handle.

Therefore I quit.

Afer the years passed, it started to itch.

Back then there was a worldchampionship from Versele Laga.

There were 3 categories on which I could participate with my own pigeons.

Then they added a new category: marathon

I thought damn! I want to continue to participate.

But I dont want to have a breedingloft with marathon pigeons.

Then I got ten youngsters from Jan Hermans.

And when I get 10 youngsters every year, I will have enough to join in this competition.

A year later the competition was abolished.

Then I had those pigeons for a few years.

but I did not need them anymore to participate in the World Championship

Then I returned the youngsters I had received.

But in the mean time I had about 5 pigeons I raced.

Including Miss Waalre.

I raced her on the normal races.

Then, when she was 3 or 4 years, somebody said:

You have a marathon pigeon why don't you play her on the long distance?

So I did.Then she won in two years time.

To keep it short.

In three weeks time she won 2 x 1st Semi-National.

Became Acepigeon of the Netherlands.

Back then I had no employees.

I had the ambition, not the time.

So I sold Miss Waalre.

I kept two youngsters.

Three years later I started as a professional.

With Kjeld as employee.

He gave our ambitions a boost.

I still had the youngsters of Miss Waalre.

I felt like starting over on the marathon again.

We built a new loft.

That was about eight years ago.

The base of the marathon pigeons is.

At first Miss Waalre.

And two sisters of her.

They were good breeders as well.

We bought several pigeons at Nol Peiren.

I look up to him when it comes to marathon racing.

His ideas on pigeon racing.

Then I purchased a few pigeons of Ko van Dommelen.

A sister of De Paarsborst breeds well here.

A few pigeons from Cor de Heijde.

And from Jos Joosen we also have some good birds.

That is our base.

I forgot one pigeon; Miss Anke from Jan Hermans.

A daughter to Annet from Wim van der Velden.

She won the 1st national Barcelona in 2005.

Her mother Mylene won 4th national Barcelona.

She turned out to be an excellent breeding hen.

Thats the base for today.

When I am searching for new birds.

I learned that from Louis van Loon.

He always talks about good families.

Good breeding pairs.

Which gives several good pigeons. Thats the base.

A simple thought.

But its also simple to understand.

Its the same with humans.

There are families which are smart, strong or lazy.

Its not so big step towards the pigeons.

I search it in good families.

And then as close as possible.

So when there is a crack I want him first.

When thats not possible a child or a brother.

Otherwise I am not satisfied.

Not every shot is hit, but that is the only thing I stick to.

So no other theories like eyesign or so.

Its nice when a pigeon is good to handle.

But 99% the results are what its all about.

And from good families.[00:05:58.03]

Thats the only thing I am looking for.

When we made an appointment with Jan Bullens.

The pigeon was very nice, but not extremely special.

But because the results count for me.

And they were exceptional for a marathon bird.

A birds with such results is always good to handle.

You can also turn it around.

The selection.

When a pigeon races good for 4 or 5 years.

Then you dont have to doubt on anything.

Thats how it was there too.

In honor of Jan Bullens I called him Red Bullens.

At that point we did not know he would be such a good breeder.

Thats the next step.

My Kleine Dirk was an excellent racer.

You have to find out if it breeds well too.

And if it does, then you have something special.

Looking back, that happened to 'Red Bullens' too.

You dont know that before.

For me it is important when you put a bird in the breeding loft.

That you don't put a lucky shot in your team.

That won a early prize once or twice.

But when it wins ten early prizes its a champion.

One early prize can be luck.

When I put a bird in my breeding loft.

I want to exclude the bird is a lucky shot.

Thats the only thing that counts for me.

To be a good one, it needs to have more top prizes.

Or have a ace pigeon title.

And descend from a very good family.

That is the only thing that interests me.

Looks are nice, but they dont interest me very much.

I also buy pigeons before I can handle them.

Pure on their results.

For example.

A pigeon here in the neighborhood that I bought.

It became father to Amore.

And Amore became a excellent breeding hen here.

I didnt see him before I bought him.

I couldnt go to the auction.

He raced very well five consecutive years.

Looking back, he did not have the looks.

But he was a excellent breeder.

Nice pigeons are a bonus, but not descisive.

To get the special pigeons.

Is the most difficult in our sport.

Big names dont say that much.

There are only few good athletes.

That counts for humans and pigeons.

Thats the only thing I am searching for.

This is currently my basic breeder for the marathon.

In honor of the breeder we called him Red Bullens.

When we bought him we only knew about his race results.

Nothing about breeding.

Now we know he is a terrific breeder too.

He gave our results are real boost on the marathon.

In our sport you always depend on a extra class pigeon.

This is one!

We owe everything to this pigeon.

He breeds well with different hens.

A few sons on the breeding loft are also very good.

A very succesful line.

Red Bullens won

On three races from Bergerac in three years time.

In the sector, about 4,500 to 5,000 pigeons competing.

A 1st prize and 2 x 2nd.

With all kinds of speeds.

With head- and tailwinds.

Very impressive for a marathon pigeon.

And he became also a good breeder.

A real bullseye!

This pigeon is called Nol.

The first youngster of Red Bullens.

Which we put in the breeding loft.

As a 2-year old he won.

On a very heavy race from Cahors a 2nd provincial.

He won 4 marathonprizes and he became an acepigeon.

In the long distance specialist club.

Because I didnt have youngsters of Red Bullens in the breeding loft.

Which were raced here, I put him already in the breeding loft.

When he was 2 years old.

He convinced me of his class.

He appeared to be a good breeder too.

A son from him called De Staart (The Tail)

Was my best marathon pigeon in 2016.

I put him in the breeding loft too.

This loft contains four sections.

One section is for the marathon pigeons.

Two-third is for breeding boxes.

And one-third is for the widowhood hens.

My system is total widowhood

In fact it is one loft.

Only the widowhood hens, I can show you, are

in the loft alongside with a aviary.

So when they are mating with each other.

I can lock them up outside.

I have positioned the boxes in such a way.

Some people think for motivation purposes.

But I dont like that very much.

I wanted to have more boxes in a small space.

To test more pigeons.

A part is yearling.

We are playing from a different loft.

These are latebreds from August and September.

They are only learning as a yearling.

When they are 2-year old they are moved to this loft.

They were not entered on the marathon till then.

They are like a blank page when they come here.

When they are two year old.

They have to prove themselves.

Usally I mate in January or February.

I do not let them hatch youngsters all the time.

The old birds usually get eggs only.

I give them fake eggs.

When they leave the nest the widowhood starts.

I only pair them once.

They are entered the whole program.

Till the first marathon race.

In between they are about 3 weeks at home.

Or two and a half till three weeks.

Between every marathon race.

The yearling which are here are only raced on the last marathon race.

They are also entered on some one day long distance races.

And then as closure one marathon race.

These are the yearlings.

Which have been raced as youngster.

They get a heavier programm then the latebreds.

The latebreds are to young to race.

Therefore I wait with their first marathon race till they are two year old.

I dont let the oldbirds hatch youngsters.

To get them start as fresh as possible.

Its a small detail, maybe not effective.

And I do not want to have youngsters from all pigeons.

Thats also a reason not to breed from these pigeons.

Total widowhood

I do it little different from most fanciers.

When the birds returns from a race.

The sexes dont meet each other.

Instead I once let them out together during the week.

Maybe three or four days after the race.

I let them out together for about two hours.

And then they can do whatever they want.

Have a nice time together.

I also do this a bit out of laziness.

And I think a pigeon that has flown 1000 kilometers.

Maybe doesnt want to make love anymore.

Or pays attention to that.

So, first it needs to recover.

And to keep it cozy here in Ermerveen.

I let them out together once a week.

Other people let the cocks and the hens together after the race.

But if that has any influence?

Its nice to see them have fun in the middle of the week.

I think it has the same effect.

A pigeon should like to be at home.

Ill do my best for that 365 days a year.

I dont believe in motivation at the day of basketing.

I believe in motivation through the whole year.

This is a part of it.

People which believe in showing before and after a race.

Which think it is a main issue.

I see it as a small part.

A small detail.

I believe a pigeon returns because of its territory.

That is it cozy here.

That it feels at home here.

Thats much more important.

Than these small details.

You have to do everything to make them happy.

So, showing in the middle of the week is a side issue.

So everyone has his own idea about it.

With the one day long distance birds.

I also never showed the hen before basketing.

When they come back they get their hen.

The hen needs to be ready to receive the cock.

But that is not the reason why he returns.

A marathonpigeon

Which is happy he is home but is very tired.

Has not much attention for its partner.

Thats the difference I think.

A marthonpigeon is happy he returned to his loft again.

That is enough in the first instance.

He gets a nice bonus a few days later.

Thats my way.

This pigeon is called Leonidas.

He is a son of Red Bullens.

When Leonidas was 2 years old.

The best acepigeon on the marathon of The Netherlands.

He made a great impression on me.

On a very heavy race from St. Vincent.

He arrived at 5 p.m.

He was the first pigeon in the north of the Netherlands.

On a easy race from Bergerac, two weeks later.

He became 2nd of appr. 1,500 birds.

I put him in the breeding loft afterwards.

I expect a lot of him

This year on a heavy race from Orange.

We entered 12 or 15 pigeons.

Within our first eight.

There were five children of Leonidas.

So the first indications he will be a good breeder are there.

His mother is Miss Anke.

Miss Anke is named after the daughter of Jan Hermans.

Rik is his son, Anke his daughter.

Anke descents from.

A good Barcelona-pigeon from Jan Hermans himself.

And he bought Annet on the sale of Van der Velden.

She won 1st national Barcelona in 2005.

I asked Jan Hermans to pair Annet with a very good cock.

Because I wanted to buy a daughter from her.

I got Miss Anke.

The mother of Leonidas

This pigeon we call De Staart.

He descents from.

His father is Nol.

The mother is a hen from Nol Peiren.

A daughter from De Bordeaux.

De Staart got his name because from his first marathon race.

A race from Limoges.

He lost two-third of his tail.

He just won a prize.

But he had a handicap, maybe due to a bird of prey.

Three weeks later there was a marathon race again.

We were in doubt to enter him again.

His tail was back for about 50%.

We thought when he can fly with two third tail.

Then he can fly with half a tail too.

He won quite a good prize, not too bad.

At the last two races he had his tail back.

And then he won two top-prizes.

I thought it was special he won four marathon prizes.

Two times really early.

With a small handicap.

And he has a real nice pedigree.

Therefore I put him in the breedingloft in 2016.

I like figuring out pedigrees.

Good families, pigeons with several good brothers.

That is what gets me excited.

Then I think: I have to have something of this strain!

We do not practice bull breeding.

Pairing one cock with four of five hens.

A good breeding cock gets two or three hens per year.

He hatches the first round himself in a natural way.

The 2nd round will be replaced under feeding couples.

And then a third round.

Maybe in six or eight weeks time.

And then I give a topbreeding cock a new hen.


I think it is a misconception of some people.

That they think to easy about quality.

About 10 or 20 years back.

People start to practice bull breeding.

You would think now there will be a explosion of quality.

With the people who used this system.

But not in practice.

I think it is easy to explain.

Maybe you have a top cock.

But not one hen.

Who is suited for that cock.

And if you pair it with four or five hens.

Then the quality must be average.

Therefore bullbreeding is.

In 9 out of 10 cases no success.

Because they think too light-hearted about quality.

The practice proves that.

Some people ask me.

Why dont you cross your own old strain.

With your marathon pigeons.

I did not do that yet.

I did not try it because.

I read of some people who did try it.

Maybe already 20 or 30 years back.

Came to the conclusion it did not bring anything.

Maybe you have a one hit wonder once.

But then when there is a really heavy marathon race.

Then they loose their birds or they are much too late.

So I did not try it myself.

Due to the experiences of others.

This year Barcelona was really heavy.

It seems the Dutch birds did better then the Belgian birds.

I think that can be explained by.

You select were you live.

In Belgium they cant race further than 1000 kms.

And then when a really heavy race follows.

Which is more suited for pigeons who can fly 1200 kms.

That is a reason which can explain.

The better results on Barcelona '17 of the Dutch fanciers.

It could be a reason.

It is only my idea.

I built this loft eight years ago.

The direction, to the west, was not my first choice.

The sun comes in the loft around 12 p.m.

To compensate for that.

We made roof windows.

At the back and front of the loft.

Also a reason is to lose dust.

But the main reason to make the loft brighter.

Light and heat will imrove the condition.

The materials I use.

As you can see.

Are not treated.

Pure planks.

Glued as little as possible.

Just a little. As natural as posslibe.

To get the light in the loft there are roof windows.

At the east side.

The ceiling lets the light through.

So that the light and heat can come into the loft.

The aeration in the loft.

Is through the aviary which is open.

When I open it it is the only way to refresh the air.

Or I open the windows for a while.

Or only during the training.

Thats the only aeration in this loft.

I dont think I need more, the roof is so big.

And when a door opens...

In the old days people once said:

The oxygen burns out of the loft

But I asked a specialist about this.

He went into my loft with a meter.

He said at once:

You dont have to be afraid about that.

For example, with 20.

Thats ok, but a day like this is maybe only 18.

Then there is still enough oxygen left for the pigeons.

You cant compare that with a child.

Which is in a closed car with the sun shining on it.

Which is then caught by the heat.

That does not happen in a pigeon loft.

When the birds have their training.

I open all windows and doors.

To loose the dust.

Thats the only reason, to get a fresh loft.

Its also good for the fancier.

But for the pigeons as well.

Here is a nice example:

My teacher Louis van Loon from Poppel.

He trained his pigeons twice a day.

He said: outside is better than inside.

Training twice a day was not the most important in his eyes.

But more important was the fresh air outside the loft.

That was a idea from this grandmaster.

During the season the windows are mostly closed.

Especially to let them sit quietly in the loft there is little distraction.

Maybe they would lose energy otherwise.

So, during the season everything is usually closed.

Maybe it was better to give them the opportunity to go outside

But because there are often youngbirds or people in front of the lofts.

I prefer to keep the lofts closed.

So the racers wont waste their energy.

But a aviary adds something to the loft I think.

For example to give a bath.

It is good to have aviary.

Especially to give a bath.

When the training is finished they go in bath easily in a aviary.

So, I always want to have a aviary in front of the loft.

Some people put their birds in the aviary in wintertime.

I think the idea is good

But when the loft is not 100%.

And you put them in the loft after 3 months.

Then it does not make much sense.

In my eyes.

It is very distinct, but between 12 and 2 p.m.

The pigeons are almost never in the aviary.

When they have the opportunity voluntarily.

I dont know the reason.

Nature already indicates that it is not necessary.

Maybe they dont like it.

Its unusual.

At night they prefer to go inside.

Its a natural reaction.

I like to make the pigeon happy.

Nestboxes with electric transport belts.

It sounds nice, but.

You have less control over the droppings.

Because the belt goes through.

There are several openings.

Which can cause draft.

And because of these reasons I dont have them.

This is for the lamellae on the side.

I can open and close them.

One at the side of the loft.

This is from Velux.

I can open and close the windows with it.

To get the dust out of the loft.

With one push on the button.

I can open or close four roof windows.

To lose the dust.

This is for the lamellae, to darken the loft.

There is also a time clock on it.

It is built in.

And this is floor heating.

I use it not very often.

There are several positions.

Every position is 5 degrees, so 4 is 20 degrees.

So when you have a cold night or so.

And you want to warm it up a bit in the loft.

Then I can also switch on the floor heating with that system.

These are all technical gadgets.

Some are almost never used, some occasionally.

But during construction this was taken into account right away.

The drinking system of the pigeons.

I copied most of that from Gnter Prange.

A German friend of mine.

He lives 30 kms from here.

A grandmaster in pigeon racing.

I noticed glass is a nice material to clean.

On plastic you can get tarnish.

it may give off clutter which is bad for the pigeons.

Therefor I have glass.

We made it in the wall.

That way you can not hit the water bowl.

Perhaps that happens once or twice a month otherwise.

And then your loft is wet.

Also is simulated how pigeons drink in the basket.

The only function of this divider is.

For brutal pigeons.

That want to have the whole shelf for themselves.

Now the neighbor also has the opportunity to drink.

I can open it with magnetic locks.

I clean everything once a day.

This is also a small part of the loft.

There are two underfloor heating systems.

A little piece here.

Of 20 x 30 cm, which I can also switch separately.

This is to keep the minerals dry.

And I have a switch that allows me to heat the entire floor.

Left is pick stone, in the middle are minerals.

And this a sort of grit, also minerals.

It consists of many kinds of grit.

Some candy seeds.

And a small part of crushed sand

Crushed sand is a kind of brick sand.

But the stones are slightly larger.

So they can use it as a kind of stomach gravel.

To help digest the feed well.

This cock hasnt got a name yet.

He is also a son to Red Bullens.

He was one of our best this year.

He won the 1st prize from Orange in Section 10/NPO.


He has to fly a few more years.

And then he can earn a place in the breeding loft.

It is a promising two-year-old.

Next year he is three years old.

His mother is Orabel.

Orabel has been bred by Piet de Vogel.

And is a daughter to Levi and Super Casje.

Levi won at Ad Kuijt from Katwijk.

A first and fourth prize national.

From St. Vincent.

This is a 5-year old cock.

Named Maximus.

On the first marathon race from Limoges.

He won the 1st prize National in Sector 4.

His descent is.

Red Bullens is his father.

And his mother is Sandira.

A full sister to Miss Waalre.

Miss Waalre achieved unique results.

And was 1st national ace pigeon marathon.

So a sister from her is the mother of Maximus.

Maximus won 4 prizes out of 4 entries on the marathon.

Among others a 1st prize.

From Limoges national in Sector 4.

Marathon or one day long distance racers makes no difference.

On the short races at the beginning of the season.

For me, these are more training flights.

Then I give a good mixture.

Where ten or twenty percent diet mixture is included.

In general I do it as follows:

Sixty percent All in One mixture, my own mixture.

With 20% barley and 20% paddy rice.

And then they have to eat everything.

When the big races are there.

About two weeks before the first one day long distance race.

And about 3 weeks before the first marathon race for my marathon pigeons.

I start feeding a full feed tray.

To me that is.

The pigeons get a mixture.

Of which they can eat 24 hours a day.

So I give them more feed then they need.

When a pigeon eats 100 grams for example.

I will give 150 grams.

And the 50 grams which are left.

Will be removed twice a day.

And will be used for the youngsters or partners

I do not throw it away.

I learned that from Jules Rijckaert from St. Amandsberg.

About 35 years back.

Do not think you know it better then the pigeon.

In practice.

A lot of fanciers think they know better than the pigeons.

It is well-meant.

But thats the difference.

I also believe that a pigeon knows better than I do.

That's why I also let them choose the whole day.

If there is food all day long.

They will never eat their crop full.

But maybe 50 or 100 times a day a little bit.

And he picks up what is needed at that moment.

If you do that you also see.

The difference when a bird returns from a race.

Or 4/5 days later.

You see that.

Maybe they need more peas or maize after a race.

I do not interfere with that, but I see a difference.

So actually this is.


A simple method that you can not make mistakes with.

But I do not know if it is the best way.

That's how I do it.

I trust the instinct of the pigeon.

Feeding light to heavy what some do.

I am not in favor of that.

A lot of people.

Maybe 80 or 90 percent.

Like to give little and light feed at the beginning of the week.

And then build up towards the race.

I prefer the bird as soon as possible

Feels happy with a full tank again.

So it is happy at home, thereby trains better.

Thereby eats better.

It makes the circle round.

So, in conclusion, I dont believe in building up with feed.

I tried everything when I was younger.

I can write a book about it

Throughout my experience over the years.

This came out. I like it best.

Simple and effective.

Why choose the hard way?

Some people ask themselves how I get the birds in after a training.

Because they are not very hungry.

I dont get them in immediately.

It maybe takes.

Maybe 5 or 10 minutes in total.

They are training with a closed loft.

Maybe 1,25 hours a day.

Or at a time.

After training they are also a bit thirsty.

Or they want to return to their boxes.

So they are not outside hours later.

That happens very rarely.

Or they have to scare once.

But normally.

When I open the loft.

I dont whistle, that does not make any sense.

Because they are not hungry.

But 10 minutes later, everything is inside.

When I give something on the feed.

Then I give that in the morning on a small portion.

When they normally eat 100 grams I will give 25.

On that I add supplements.

And when everything is done, I give a full food bowl again.

Ill give supplements once or twice a week.

On the feed.

But limited and half the day.

I have also made mistakes.

Sometimes you read something.

About a certain brand or product.

Then you think you have to give it.

And they eat not enough.

Then you have won nothing. You just waste time.

The tank isnt full, because you made mistakes.

I have also experienced all kind of things.

So I learned from that.

Not too many supplements on the feed.

But occasionally.

The extras that I give.

I already do that for over 35 years.

I also learned that from Jules Ryckaert.

Cheese, later I mix sheep fat with it.

And a peanut mixture.

The pigeons get this.

It contains 60% peanuts.

About 30% cheese

And 10% sheep fat.

I have a machine here.

It is mixed and the pigeons get about.

Two to three grams, a theespoon, per pigeon per day.

Almost every day.

I see that more as.

A completion of the feed.

And the pigeons like it.

But also with the intention that they.

Will get all ingredients.

They need to feel happy.

And perform on the highest level.

Marathonpigeons are longer at home between the races.

But nothing changes to the feeding system.

Thats also difficult to do.

I divided the marathonpigeons in different groups.

They are entered on the races in different weeks.

Anticipating with the feeding system.

Is therefore hardly possible.

It is at the expense of one or another

So those pigeons also get.

Ten or twelve weeks the same regime.

The same feed all week.

I do not see much disadvantage in that.

A pigeon will not overeat.

A pigeon has a different instinct than a human being.

I think it is good to emphasize that more often.

Too many people compare humans and animals with each other.

A part is training for example.

You can use some of cyclists.

But do not make that comparison too often.

We will perhaps eat cake

But a pigeon is still so close to nature.

He only eats what he needs.

We also eat what is not necessary.

Thats the difference I think.

Between a person and an animal.

Why I give full feed tray?

That is partly because of the fact.

We race with our birds every week.

This week a middle distance race.

Next week a one day long distance race.

The week after again a middle distance race.

If you then take them back.

And it will be heavy for a few weeks.

They might have an empty tank at one moment.

And then they cannot handle a hard race.

Because their tank was empty.

Thats partly the reason I feed full tray.

Another reason is.

Trusting on the instinct of a pigeon.

That it will not eat too much.

And eats what it needs at that certain time.

These things I consider very important during the season.

And you wont make mistakes this way.

Other methods I find complicated and unnatural

In fact it is strange.

For example, they had their training from 7-8 am.

And they can eat from 8-8.15 am.

As much as they want or a limited portion.

And they are not allowed to eat between 8.15 am till 5 pm.

You do not see that in nature either.

In that sense I think it is unnatural too.

But I feel that is also due to advertising...

And the weakness of our brains.

If we read something often enough.

We take it indiscriminately.

And your mind is being turned off.

And that is what I have learned over the years:

Always wonder why someone is doing something.

Have your own thoughts about it.

See if it goes against nature.

I think that has been.

An important lesson for me.

Not just blindly accept what everyone does.

That is not always easy, people are easily influenced.

To try it in any case.

At least to try.

To have your own thoughts.

Not just blindly accept what everyone does.

Here I have some byproducts.

They are important I think.

Although I still see it as a side issue.

But an important one.

A few things that I have previously overlooked.

About 15 years ago vinegar has become popular.

And you were just blindly following that.

But you are not thinking about it.

It might have disadvantages too.

Everything has advantages and disadvantages.

A disadvantage is.

That the minerals are extracted from the body.

Because of too many acids in the vinegar.

And if you do not catch that.

Then you do more harm than good for the pigeons.

I learned that the hard way.

But now I have a kind of.

I kind of lava flour which I use together with acids.

Ground minerals.

When I give acids this goes to the feed.

And I mix the feed with it.

Yes, it comes from our neighborhood

It is called nature moor, a kind of peat water.

It contains a lot of good nutrients.

Because it is liquid you can mix something with it.

The pigeons also like it.

So with this I make the feed moist.

And a bit of flaxseed oil.

Mixed together.

I give that in the morning, once or twice a week.

Maybe Monday and Wednesday.

A little bit over a portion of the feed.

And when everything is gone they get full tray again.

These are things I mix with the feed.

This is something I spray in the loft. I have that from Gnter Prange.

They also use it in horticulture. It makes the loft fresh.

It also has an effect against harmful substances.

A nice product.

Occasionally I also give Wonderpigeon. An additional product.

And these are acids that I give.

It is better than vinegar.

These are also a few products that I have been using for years.

Active iron. This would stimulate blood circulation.

And it is good for the intestinal flora.

I give these products about twice a week.

These are important products that I give next to the feed.

The racing season is over. Now everything is simpler.

Now I am adding barley and paddy rice to the feed. The pigeons have to eat everyting I give them.

The tank is now always full. They do not have to fly 1000 kilometers.

I take care of them well, but in a different way than during the season

During the season I give full tray.

Without barley and paddy rice.

And now I make a lighter mixture.

This is how I take care of my pigeons at the moment.

In the past, when I only raced cocks.

I let them train three times a day.

Well yes, training I let them fly an hour in the morning and in the evening.

I called them in at 6 and from 6.30 till 8.30 pm they had an open loft.

Then they were free to have some fun.

A little freewheeling.

Not so tight.

Some people asked: do you let your widowers out at 8 pm?!

I said: They are having fun! I do not believe in keeping pigeons on a tight schedule.

You make it difficult for yourself and your family. Pigeons do not care about it.

Or do not care about it, they know more about nature then us.

They need food and water, thats most important.

Training is important, but not if it is 5 o'clock or 5.05 o'clock.

To do it exactly in time.

You make it difficult for yourself.

Pigeons dont care.

Thats my opinion.

Many people turn a side issue into a main issue.

And what matters the most they dont see.

And in sport, quality still makes the difference.

If you take normal and good care of your pigeons quality will make the difference

Since pigeons cant talk we take things for granted.

If it could talk it might say were doing wrong.

It is an art to try to understand a pigeon.

Or to empathize with a pigeon, thats not very easy.

Medical guidance is an important part.

But it is not that when veterinarian a suddenly dies.

You dont know which way to turn.

On a forum some people ask: how is your medical guidance?

Then I tell them: ask the vet.

I didnt study for it. Not a day, not even an hour.

I cant look into a microscope.

I can only talk like a parrot.

I give rodinazale 10% for three days.

Then somebody else says I give it for 2,5 day. It is really not interesting at all.

Thats no craftmanship. Thats talking like a parrot.

Yes, my birds get medical guidance. I trust a vet.

Maybe next year a different vet that's why I do not name names.

And I want to keep my freedom.

Otherwise people could say: you said you visited vet a and now you are visiting vet b.

Its no secret but thats the reason.

And I do not want to be interesting.

I am a loyal follower.

For example when the vet subscribes this or that at 3 grams a day for 3 days then I will do that.

Otherwise I do not think about it.

I trust the vet.

Its important, but partly a side issue.

And something I dont know anything about.

Some fanciers like to make it interesting.

But they dont know anything about it.

99 Out of 100 fanciers know nothing about medical guidance.

Yes you can read it in the book

Say difficult names.

It dont matter but I will visita specialized vet.

And has experience with pigeons.

This is Aristos

This year he won 2 x 1st in Section 10/NPO.

A 2nd and 3rd National in the sector.

On the two hardest races of the year, St. Vincent and Dax.

He is three years old.

He is a son of Red Bullens'.

Mated to a hen of Nol Peiren, a daughter to his As Perpignan x Barcelona Duivin

This cock is the fourth after Nol, Leonidas and the Staart which enters the breedingloft.

He has impressed me enough to join the breeding-team.

He won 4 prizes out of 4 races on the marathon this year.

I darkened the pigeons for the first time this year.

The main reason was.

That I could enter the yearlings on the last race.

Thats in August, normally the pigeons only have 3 or 4 old flights then.

Then I do not dare to participate anymore.

I like to give them a marathon race as a yearling.

So thats the only reason I darkened this year.

For the last race, for the yearlings.

Otherwise I do not think it is necessary.

Then it just goes before the moult begins.

I also lightened my birds this year for the first time.

Not extreme, maybe an hour in the morning and evening.

I dont know exactly anymore. For example:

When the sun would go up at 6 am, I turned on the light at 5 am.

And in the evening when the sun goes down at 9 pm I left the light on till 10 pm.

So, this year for the first time.

But only the last six weeks of the season.

To give something extra.

Nature grows from light and heat. And pigeons might be happier out of it.

So thats the reason.

Those window sills are to make it cozy.

The pigeons that sit there have an extra sleeping accommodation.

Or seating. I also put food on it every now and then.

The function is to make it cozy.

I dont like them to fight with their neighbor.

It is an extra motivation. To make it cozy.

Keep pleasure in pigeonsport.

Thats most important.

The ambition comes naturally

The ZLU-races beckons.

But I live in a place where you occasionally do not stand a chance.

And then you are racing to 40 or 50 pigeons from your competitors here.

While you also have beautiful sector races here.

National races with 1,000 or 1,500 pigeons.

Thats also a nice competition.

So that keeps me a bit disappointing.

It beckons, but I also see the downsides.

But from the other side. If you dont participate you cant prove yourself either.

I do not feel that I am strong enough yet.

That my colony is ready for it.

And if you want to be good on national races you should not shred too much.

Last year we became national champion on the marathonraces.

This year we were 2nd.

You can forget that when you also race the ZLU.

Or it will be very difficult.

This year we raced about as good as in 2016.

In 2016 we did not win a sector race. This year we immediately won the first race.

If I remember correctly we won one national sectorrace.

And in Section 10/NPO out of 7 races 4 x 1st.


Dax, St. Vincent and Orange.

And on other races also early prizes.

A good season with high prize percentages.

Sometimes 13 entered and 12 prizes.

And 10 entered and 9 prizes. Sometimes a less result.

On average about the same as in 2016.

As a sportsman I enjoy most having a extraordinary pigeon.

And we have one this year, hes called Aristos

He won on the two hardest races, St. Vincent and Dax.

About 1,160 kilometers for us.

Two times first in Section 10, I believe 2nd and 3rd in the Sector.

That is what excites me.

Thats even better than winning a big title.

So he is in the breeding loft now too.

Aristos is a son to Red Bullens with a hen of Nol Peiren.

And the hen from Peiren is a daughter to As Perpignan x Barcelona-duivin.

And the Barcelona-duivin is also mother to.

The 1st national Barcelona 2015 in Belgium.

And 2nd International.

She descends from a super family.

From Red Bullens we have three sons in the breeding loft.

All halfbrothers.

Nol, Leonidas and Aristos.

Now I am stronger because I also have pigeons in the breedingloft which have good race results.

When you begin you buy pigeons from here and there.

More on bloodline, you dont know if they are good breeders.

Now I am getting a family of winners.

It makes you stronger for the future.

Therefor I put the extra pigeons in the breeding loft early.

I feel I am much stronger than 6 or 7 years ago.

The race results are the proof.

Back then it was good now and then, with less prizes.

Now I sometimes have a prize percentage of almost 100%.

That proves it is a good family.

The Description of Gerard Koopman Marathon Special - 1ST CHAPTER FREE